A MOTHER has told of the horrific moment she heard her son had been murdered for protecting a female friend.
Karen Wetherell revealed how she and her partner Russ Kelly were just about to sit down to eat, when they got the dreaded phone call.
Her son Dan Smith, 24, was shot four times at point blank range 10 days ago outside the Lounge Bar, in Riviera.
Speaking exclusively to the Olive Press, Wetherell, 47, said: “I’m lying here next to my son’s body in an urn and I can’t stop crying.
“Dan didn’t deserve to die like this. Certainly not defending a girl.”
Wetherell, who has lived in Los Lomas, near Alhaurin for four years, was speaking after around 150 mourners attended the builder’s funeral in Alhaurin last weekend.
“He was butchered after standing up for me. He was a heroic and selfless man.”
So popular was the 6ft, 5ins plasterer that over 200 young friends – including his girlfriend Nicola Alwyn – turned up at a later ‘celebration’ of his life at the Fluid Bar, in Elviria.
Alwyn told the Olive Press: “He was always the most popular guy in the pub and gave his life selflessly protecting his friends.”
His mother Karen meanshile revealed how she had taken a call from his boss at building firm Silvester and Sons, just minutes after the incident.
“We got a call from Dan, who was cradling him on the street outside,” said the mother-of-four from Essex.
“We rushed over, but by the time we got there he was already dead.”
Contrary to numerous reports, the Olive Press can reveal that the incident happened after a row over a local English girl called Georgia, 24.
The A-level student, who asked not to be named, revealed: “He was butchered after standing up for me. He was a heroic and selfless man.”
Police have now arrested an Irishman, who is said to look like ‘Wayne Rooney with more freckles’.
Eric ‘Lucky’ Wilson, 27, has been remanded in custody after being picked up at his mountain farm, 20 minutes from the Costa del Sol.
Wilson – who is said to be a member of one of Dublin’s most violent gangs, possibly even the IRA – was wanted back home in Ireland.
When police raided his farmhouse in Coin they found explosives, grenades and a string of fake passports.
They also allegedly used the motorbike used in the assault.
“When we signed for his body, the detectives told us that he was in the IRA,” said his mother Karen.
Another source revealed: “This guy was a gun-nut and something of an arsenal up there.
“He certainly didn’t have a regular job and always had plenty of cash on him.
“He had offered to buy a 15,000 euro car, a 4×4, in cash just a few days earlier.”
Wilson is accused of shooting Smith four times – once in the face, once in the neck and twice in the back – as he sat on the terrace.
It came after Dan (pictured right) had stepped in to calm things down, because his friend Georgia had been groped.
After pushing Dan across the bar, he had told him he was “going home to get a gun to sort him out’.”
Wilson then jumped back on his motorbike to get a gun.
When he returned, Dan had actually told everyone to get back into the pub as there was ‘going to be trouble’.
Explained Georgia: “This guy then drove around the corner and then sneaked up a back alley.
“When Dan wasn’t looking he walked right up behind him and shot him in the head. It was horrific.”
According to sources it was NOT the first time Wilson had threatened to kill someone.
He had allegedly threatened to go home and get a gun during last season’s Arsenal-Manchester United game, revealed a source.
“Someone had called him a ‘thick paddy’ for standing in front of the television and he went crazy,” he said.
“He stormed out, but luckily someone went after him to calm him down. To be fair, he actually came back later and apologised to everyone for his behaviour.”
Ironically, Dan Smith, 26, was also wanted by police in the UK over a shooting of businessman Doug Turner at his farmhouse, near Stock, Essex, in July 2007.
But his mother insisted that he had been fitted up by two older men, who were found guilty of being accomplices in the attack.
A court handed Wayne Perrey, 44, and Jason Steele, 39, nine months in prison after the millionaire was blasted in the grounds of his home, losing various fingers.
“He was 21 and they were in their forties,” said Wetherell. “My son never got out of the van. He got fitted up.”
Friends revealed that he appeared to be a gentle giant and was hard working.